Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh, while officially launching the 1st Health and Nutrition Fair on Friday assured the public of government commitment to facelift diversify food security in Sierra Leone.
Emphasizing the need to end hunger and malnutrition at the Miatta Conference centre, Dr. Foh maintained that the Government of Sierra Leone will continue to prioritize food and nutrition security.
Vice President Foh further went on to say that malnutrition and poor health facilities are some of the factors that contribute to the prevalence of infectious diseases in the country, pointing out that a healthy population aid global development.
Commending the efforts of the different partners and the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) for their resilient approach in improving the health status of Sierra Leoneans, Foh said that it is part of the government development agenda to ensure the availability and accessibility of nutritious food to the entire country.
“We are in the process of building a healthy and nutritious Sierra Leone, therefore we are collaborating with various partners to adopt healthy feeding behaviour of communities and enhance food production using, local resources,” added VP Foh.
Lamenting on the effects of the outbreak of the ebola disease which greatly distracted initiatives geared toward addressing chronic malnutrition, Dr. Foh reassured of the government commitment to prioritise food and nutrition security as it is crucial to a country’s economic and human development.
Addressing the public on the negative consequences of poor nutrition and how its impede social and economic development, Geofin Wiffin from the UNCT said that the President recovering initiative to reducing maternal and child death is a major priority.
Mr Wiffin further stated that under nutrition especially in children has an impact on survival, growth and development which in turn reduce overall productivity.
“It is vital that we complement government effort to reduce malnutrition by collaborating with the various sectors that have direct and indirect impact on nutrition; including health, education, WASH, agriculture and women. Each of the our agencies is strongly committed to scale-up and implement high-impact interventions to help children and the people of Sierra to survive, grow and develop optimally,” Mr Wiffin said.
Expressing his delights over the event, Mr Wiffin said that the UN Country team works to ensure that nutrition is embedded in policies and government systems and quality nutrition programmes are implemented at scale to achieve national target.
Dr. Mohammed Foh, National Coordinator, Scaling Up Nutrition, disclosed that it is part of government efforts to reduce malnutrition by working with the various sectors that have direct and indirect impact on nutrition, adding that these efforts are not only limited to health, education, WASH, agriculture, women and gender.
Dr. Mohamed Foh also stated that the strong efforts of the SUN movement and its partners has helped improve the country’s malnutrition from 38% to 28.8%, adding that poor water supply, poor sanitation and hygiene are contributing factors to malnutrition in the country.
As various ministries, donors and civil societies dialogued on the need to get the community involved in such inventiveness, highlighting the importance of eating a healthy food, cultural, musical and drama skits performed to colour the three-day event which ended on 1st May.